In Their Own Words Adams Golf

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Founded in 1987, Adams Golf, Inc. designs, assembles, markets and distributes premium quality, technologically innovative golf clubs. Adams Golf operates in a single segment within the golf industry (golf clubs and accessories) and offers more than one category of product within each segment. The company currently offers drivers, fairway woods, hybrids, irons and wedges. Best known for its upside down fairway wood design pioneered by founder Barney Adams, the company has grown in recent years to be regarded as one of the industrys leaders in hybrid technology.
 
Tim Reed received his degree in mechanical engineering from Penn State. Employed during high school and through college at a golf course, Tim started tinkering with golf clubs in the 1970s. His passion for golf equipment combined with his engineering degree made the golf industry a natural for him after graduating from college. Tim started with Tommy Armour Golf and worked for Odyssey Golf prior to their acquisition by Callaway. Tim was hired by Adams Golf in 2000 as VP research and development.

 
A Conversation with Tim Reed
Vice President, Research and Development, Adams Golf
 
Casey / Q:
Tim, before we get in to product and technology, lets talk a little about your departmentthe R&D department. You guys have grown significantly in the last couple of years.
 
Tim / A:
You know, we really have grown a lot. When I came here in 2000 we had a few individuals in R&D and we are at nineteen people now. Really in the last 2 years, weve accelerated our hiring and staffing by a large amount.
 
Casey / Q:
Whats led to the growth?
 
Tim / A:
Chip Brewer, our president and CEO, really believes in R&D and the fact that product performing at the highest level is king. World class performance is our main goal. In order to support that mission we have made huge investments in design and engineering capability, especially for a company our size. I dont think people realize the enormity of the engineering talent we have here in the building to go along with the product knowledge and industry knowledge.
 
Adams Golf
Redline RPM 430Q
Casey / Q:
How has the growth manifested itself in terms of personnel?
 
Tim / A:
Each one of the engineering hires has been very strategic. Product categories now have corresponding product engineering and performance engineering specialists. This includes tour engineering as well. With project management also come an industrial design function which works with the engineers from an aesthetics point of view to make sure were on track in our marketing of the products.
 
Casey / Q:
When The Golf Channel last interviewed you at your Plano, Texas headquarters, we saw a pretty impressive looking testing environment. Has that changed as well?
 
Tim / A:
Weve grown our testing capabilities in a big way in the last couple of years. In order for us to compete we are doing things through data-driven decisions, making early calls on setting strategic goals as that relates to product performance. We try to develop the product so that we can be forward thinking while reducing our lead times, cutting our development times down so we can be competitive in this highly competitive industry. Weve become quick to react to changing market conditions. In order to do this we have full-time lab analysis going on where theyre looking at our prototypes in a comprehensive fashion, looking at our in-line products with a comparative eye towards other of the top OEMs to see how our performance stacks up against the competitions mass properties. Then were able to make strategic decisions on the performance characteristics were looking to achieve.
 
Casey / Q:
Im glad were having this conversation. We dont hear that much about Adams proprietary research and development efforts.
 
Tim / A:
Our R&D support is one of the best kept secrets in the golf industry and in a way, thats a good thing. Were designing equipment that not only performs in the hands of the greatest players in the world, like Tom Watson, but, we take that technology and apply it to making the game easier to play for the masses. And the masses include low handicap golfers as well as people who are just taking up the game for the first time. Now, not only do we understand and have the technology, we have the research capability to stay ahead of the curve and in many cases actually set the standard for a technology or product category.
 
Casey / Q:
So if I came to visit you, or I should say, when I come to visit you in Plano, what will I see thats new and different?
 
Tim / A:
We have considerably more dedicated resources: a guy thats only looking at hybrids and irons, a person thats only concerned with hollow clubs, so that these designers are really focused. All of our senior guys have two product designers working under them. This industrial design side, which is all this cool stuff, this is the skin of the product. And what is driving it, whats in the center, is our design room. We have nine seats, or stations, of Unigraphics. This allows us to fully control the mass properties of our design through CAD. We have a streamlined process when it comes to data collection. In the old days ' and for me that means prior to Adams, prior to real engineering in golf ' a product would be developed and then tested and then changed because we didnt have access to launch monitors and serious CAD systems to be able to perfect a product in the design stage.
 
Casey / Q:
You were in the samples waiting game?
 
Tim / A:
You know the drill? Yes. Wed always wait for the sample to come in and then wed run out and see how we did. Now our testing at the end is really for confirmation that we hit our goalsthat we hit the mass properties we set to achieve. If we did, our initial testing should show how the product will perform in the markethow its going to competeand we can shorten our development time. Testing is ongoing, but, its not necessarily part of our design process in the critical path. Its there more for confirmation that weve hit our goals and that we have the right sound and the right performance under different playing conditions. Its become very scientific.
 
Casey / Q:
Have you maxed out your growth in R&D at this point?
 
Tim / A:
The department is still growing and still evolving. Were trying to add two or three more bodies in to the group. Were very strategic in terms of the types of people were looking for.
 
Casey / Q:
Lets move on to your favorite subject, golf technology. How do choices in materials affect your approach to design?
 
Tim / A:
What we try to do is find a way to make the chassis of the club as light as possible. So if it means a combination of multi-material, or if it means a new material altogether, well look at that. In a driver design, for example, the challenge is that youve got a certain fixed weight in head mass that youre going to be able to work with. Being able to find enough mass to move the center of gravity around or affect the moment of inertiathis is what were after. Take titanium as your base material. What can you add to it, where can you thin it down, how can you attach various materials whether its titanium itself, or its composite or plastics? What will lower the overall average weight of that body so you have more discretionary mass to play with? The same is true for a hybrid or a fairway wood.
 
Casey / Q:
Is titanium the lightest alloy available to you for use in golf clubs right now?
 
Tim / A:
There are other lighter materials, but, they might not have the best properties for golf club application. It might be an issue with sound, or affordability, but, at this point in time, titanium is one of the best materials for driver designs.
 
Casey / Q:
Your approach to designwhat comes first? The invention that leads to a goal, or, a goal that necessitates invention?
 
Tim / A:
Weve become more sophisticated as, I believe, the entire industry hasat least where the major OEMs are concerned. We know the goals of what the launch conditions should bewhat were targeting for a certain player. Is this going to be a lower spinning driver, a mid-spin driver, or a high-spin driver? We have goals on what the MOI should be. Is it 4200 or is going to be 4400 or higher? We sit down and identify what the mass properties are going to be first. Then well develop a shape to support those mass properties. Its give and take. Its trying to drive the center of gravity in to optimal positions.
 
Casey / Q:
Do you sometimes set out with a goal in mind with the realization you dont yet have the applicable technology at your disposal?
 
Tim / A:
Sometimes you look at a design and realize thats when you have to introduce new materials and new techniques in order to be able to affect the mass properties. Were not sitting down and saying we need a composite-top driver. Were developing a product with certain launch conditions and if we need to use a lighter crown well look at that to be able to hit the goal of those particular launch conditions.
 
Casey / Q:
Tim, the question begs to be asked, as much as you know about driver design at this point, as sophisticated as golf club design has become, cant you just sit down and design the definitive driver and be done with it? Never have to design another driver?
 
Tim / A:
Umm, then Id be out of a job. No, seriously, even though the USGA has set the bar as is related to MOI and COR, were still challenged because there is no guarantee we can hit 4600 or 4700 MOI with good launch conditions. We still need to push the envelope, develop new materials in certain areas of the golf club in order to achieve optimum performance under as many different playing conditions as possible. There is still plenty of room out there in terms of optimization. And Id put it to you another way. Tom Watson isnt sitting back satisfied with any part of his game. He still wants to improve everyday. If we dont try to constantly build better drivers hell find someone who will. And I think golf consumers in general are of the same mind set. Every golfer wants to get better. Technology can help make a very hard game easier. So, we keep trying to make the best driver we can, always looking at ways to improve on the most recent bar weve set.
 
Casey / Q:
What represents the biggest room for advancement?
 
Tim / A:
The whole location of the center of gravity or the ability to move the CG around is still, in my opinion, untapped. And we believe at Adams we can still move the mass around to affect not only back spin but side spin and the directional accuracy of the clubespecially in drivers. We are still challenged with increasing ball speed and increasing distance. Trust me, theres a lot of work to do before anyone can say, hey, this is the perfect driver for all golferslets call it a day.
 
Casey / Q:
You guys have moveable weights in your line. The 430-Q driver employs moveable weights. Why not just use lead tape like in the old days?
 
Tim / A:
If youre only applying lead tape then youre actually just adding weight to the club. And unless youre starting out with a club that is very, very light, youre in trouble. The ability to move weights around the circumference of the club allows you to move the center of gravity without affecting swing weight per se. Or, you can do both. You can actually move it and increase the swing weight of the club if you desire. Some players like to shorten the club length, or, some like longer clubs. Having multiple weight ports allows you to affect both swing weight and CG. Its going to affect launch conditions and ultimately let you dial in those launch conditions.
 
Casey / Q:
Can average or high-handicap golfers really notice the difference between a heel-weighted or toe weighted golf club?
 
Tim / A:
In a word, yes. If you can put weight in the heel you are doing two things. You are moving the CG closer to the shaft which makes it easier to pronate. It doesnt matter what your handicap is. This is physics at work here. Its called the inertial rotation around the hosel. Secondly, youre also displacing the center of gravity off the center line which is going to, for that one instance, create draw spin for the player. Drivers that are draw bias already have a lot of weight in the heel. If you had a tendency to fade the ball after numerous swings you will, regardless of your ability level, be straighter. If you had a driver that was neutral versus one that had draw bias and you needed to reduce your slice, if you look at the results over say fifty swings during two or three different test sessions, youll see that the driver thats got the weight in the heel will produce more shots left than the neutral driver, all other things being equal.
 
Adams Golf
IDEA a2 irons
Casey / Q:
Technology really can help to overcome swing flaws?
 
Tim / A:
Ive never believed you can take a guy who slices the ball off the world and turn him in to a draw player. But, I think you can see a positive movement in the ball flight getting it to work less right so that there is a reduction in side spin, or cut spin. I do think you can reduce that within reason. If youve got a guy who is within plus or minus a thousand RPM of side spin you can probably reduce it down to zero or just slightly negative thereby creating a slightly straighter shot or even a little bit of draw if he had been working from a cut ball flight.
 
Casey / Q:
Whats your take on shafts in terms of optimizing performance characteristics?
 
Tim / A:
I am of the school that the shaft at impact ' once the club is delivered to impact ' the shaft doesnt exist. Right at impact when the club face makes contact with the ball the shaft is virtually not part of the system and the end result of the flight of the golf ball ' direction, distance, launch angle and the spin ' is directly related to the mass properties of the club head. After impact, magically, the shaft and the head come back together and it translates to feel.
 
Casey / Q:
So, what does the shaft do?
 
Tim / A:
What I believe the shaft does ' and the shaft is an important part of the product, its the part that is for ultimate fitting ' the shaft is there to deliver the head to the proper orientation at impact. Thus, giving you the proper dynamic loft and being able to deliver it at the highest velocity and optimum feel. If you have the wrong shaft, whether its tip stiff or tip weak, all those different various buzz words we hear out therethe result is going to be diminished. Ive seen players that you would think need a very stiff tip because they have a high club head speed; but yet, they perform better with a higher balance point shaft with maybe a little more torque. It all depends on how they load the club and how the club is delivered to impactthe face attitude. I think most of the golf club engineers believe that the shaft doesnt really influence accuracy or distance at impact. Its sort of free floating through space and the energy transfer is just between the head and ball. The shaft is there for fitting.
 
Casey / Q:
When it comes to stock shafts in your clubs, your drivers for instance, how do you choose what shaft will be right for the greatest variety of players?
 
Tim / A:
It depends on the cycle were in. As you know right now, you see a lot of Pro Launch, NV, and NVS as a stock offering. If you walk in to a golf store typically they are taking these premium shafts and theyre using them in these heads. But if were designing a proprietary shaft weve got a baseline set of specs that will sort of meet a certain specific sweet spot of the market out there.
 
Casey / Q:
Does this apply for better players as well as higher handicap golfers?
 
Tim / A:
The better players will typically be fit anyway, or, theyre going to already know theyre favorite shaft. But, for example, the last four years weve been making 460 cc drivers so the size of the head has been a fixed constant which means that the center of gravity relative to the shaft has been predictable. This dynamically affects the shaft through the golf swing. Many of the variables at this point are known. With that, were able to pick the specs ' the specs have become pretty rigid at this pointour standard shafts with certain weight requirements and certain balance pointsthats quite well known for us at this point.
 
Casey / Q:
Right now we have an explosion in shaft awareness by the consumer. Guys looking for a new driver are making buying decisions based on what shafts are offered.
 
Tim / A:
Recently the market has started to demand the premium shafts. And we have no problem with that. We look at the specs of those and make sure we can use those in our heads. There are some shafts that are very successful premium shafts that simply dont work well in some of our heads and even some of our competitors heads. It all depends on the hosel, whether its a thru-bore or not. I can tell you some of the shafts wouldnt work well in Titleist heads just like some of the shafts wouldnt work well in our heads. Theres also a line with the demographics of our brand. There are certain shafts that are just not good for a more game improvement oriented head. Theyre only meant for the better or best players that load the club a certain way. Like yourself.
 
Casey / Q:
If only that were true, Tim.
 
Tim / A:
We can always dream.
 
Casey / Q:
Yes, we can dream. Lets talk about the difference between the 460 Ti and the 460 Dual in your driver line, and, what would make a golfer gravitate more towards one than the other?
 
Tim / A:
The 460 Dual is a $299 driver. The 460 Ti is a $199 driver. The Dual has moveable weights so you can set the club up as neutral, toe bias or heel bias. You can change the amount of side spin. So theres flexibility there. If you want to change shafts you can change the head mass and affect swing weight. There is a lot of flexibility with the Dual in terms of being able to adjust the head. And the Dual is set up to be a mid to low spinning driver. Whereas the 460 Ti is an all titanium designed driver with a fixed amount of mid to high spin which would be slated for a golfer that would be looking at a Cleveland Launcher, a PING G2, looking at a Callaway 454those types of products. Our 460 Ti would be very similar to those drivers in terms of launch conditions.
 
Casey / Q:
Is one product category more challenging than another to design?
 
Tim / A:
Fairway woods and hybrids are probably the two design categories that are the hardest to make perform. A driver, in the great majority of instances, youre focused on off-the-tee performance. Youre teeing the driver up and you always have a good lie. Where fairway woods are concerned, you have off-the-deck performance, tight lies, fairway bunkers, different height rough and also off the tee. So you have to make a determination up front, are you designing a golf club to be used primarily off the fairway or for multiple uses. Then there are a whole different set of parameters you have to look in to which include face height, center of gravity position, and sole design.
 
Casey / Q:
How does this apply to your new RPM LP (low profile) fairway woods?
 
Tim / A:
The premise of the RPM LP fairway wood was a 20-80 design. Twenty percent of the emphasis was on off-the-tee, and, eighty percent of the design emphasis was off the fairway. That drove the design conditions ' face height and center of gravity ' so when the ball is struck off the deck it would be both easy to hit and it would have proper launch conditions. One of the things weve learned is that how you test the product for evaluation is not necessarily on center. You have to test it lower on the face, lower heel and lower toe, because thats where most golfers will make impact. And youre considering how the club is going to be used. Is it a back-up driver, for example? Thats a whole different discussion with different mass properties. The LP was developed with off-the-ground performance in mind but with a tall enough face that you can still hit it off a tee and not worry about popping it up. There is a trade off there.
 
Casey / Q:
Do you have more playability options with todays designs?
 
Tim / A:
In the old days, with the very first Tight Lies woods, the face was very, very shallow. But with todays technology we can have thinner crowns - the casting is thinner - and this allows us to maintain the low CG with certain inertia properties. We can bring the face height up a little bit so you can eliminate pop-ups and go ahead and tee it up and have confidence with it.
 
Casey / Q:
You have different designs of the RPM LP fairway woods?
 
Tim / A:
We have three models. The standard model has the weight in the back. This is a two-piece construction with a crown weld. We use a very thin crown that is stamped and attached to the top. Weve got the tour model which has the weight forward. This has a face-pull so we can use a high-strength steel. Its a carpenter 455 alloy thats attached to the front. The face is a little bit taller and its going to be a little bit hotter with a higher COR because of the material and because its a little deeper face. It also has lower spin.
 
Casey / Q:
And that uses a face weld?
 
Tim / A:
We put the welding on the face because we were looking for a unique CG position which is a little bit lower and a little bit closer to the face than the standard model. This will help better players with higher club head speeds keep the trajectory down a little bit. It also helps the better player that might want to use the 3-wood off the tee.
 
Casey / Q:
Whats the third model?
 
Tim / A:
That would be the draw model. The weight is located in the heel and the CG is closer to the shaft. It has a small amount of off-set or what we like to call reduced face progression.
 
Casey / Q:
How does the profile of your RPM LP tour model fairway wood stack up to the rest of the industry?
 
Tim / A:
Our deep face or tour model 3-wood is similar to the standard model of most other companies 3-woods. In some instances we are shallower than our competitors standard product. It was designed to be hotter on center hits and also have good launch conditions off the deck. Its more of a 50-50 purpose club50 percent off the tee, 50 percent off the fairway.
 
Casey / Q:
Max Puglielli, your director of tour operations, told me there are many iterations of the tour model 3-wood.
 
Tim / A:
Thats right. We have to be ready for whatever any of our staff players want: 20-80, 50-50, 30-70, 40-60the guys can tell the difference between all these designs. Im not sure average players can, but, the tour staff players sure can.
 
Adams Golf
Ladies 12-piece set
Casey / Q:
Is it safe to say theyre similar but different? The different iterations of 3-woods?
 
Tim / A:
Thats a good way to put it. They all have the upside down technology which increases inertia and helps to lower the CG. But, they all have different weight placements based on the intent of use and different face height and different sizing.
 
Casey / Q:
Adams Golf has an enormous presence on the Champions Tour led by your marquis player, Tom Watson. What do you learn from the tour in terms of design?
 
Tim / A:
The tour is a very important part of our product development and testing. Last year we hired a guy who specializes in designing our tour product. Ground interference, launch conditions, durability, off the tee versus off the deckall these parameters have been developed through tour testing. Its like the auto industry and purpose built race cars and what they learn from racing that ends up in the cars we drive. Were actually taking that product and configuring it for consumer use through our tour efforts. Its interesting. Especially with hybrids. As were looking at new designsthere are a number of them that are slated for tour developmentwere kind of thinking with these certain launch condition goals in mind they might become a game improvement hybrid down the road for us. Its becoming very interesting in what were learning on tour. Not everything is as it seems.
 
Casey / Q:
Why do hybrids work so well?
 
Tim / A:
Theyre sort of a natural evolution of the iron set. When golf went from forged blades to cavity back irons, its pretty clear what happened there. The cavity back golf club had off-set so it was easier to hit. Over time this became the norm in the industry. Five, six, seven, eight years ago, golf ball technology started to change. At the same time manufacturers were chasing distance even in irons. They started to decrease the loft in the irons so they would go farther, also making the shaft length longer. So youve got a golf club that is now an inch longer that has four degrees stronger loft, which, effectively, if it used to be a nine iron is now an eight iron. Or an eight iron that now flies like a seven iron.
 
Casey / Q:
Whats wrong with that? Distance is king, right?
 
Tim / A:
Theres nothing wrong with it, per se. From a design perspective, however, its challenging us to create launch angle and spin and were loosing moment of inertia because as the shaft length gets longer the head mass goes down so youre losing inertia. We got it to a point where after we went from cavity back to oversize cavity back, whats going to be the next play? We started to lose inertia, we started to lose spin. And lower spinning golf balls came in to the picture. With all of that going on we needed to find a way to increase the launch angle and increase the ball speed and spin.
 

Casey / Q:
Enter hybrids?
 
Tim / A:
Enter hybrids. Hybrids give you a different set of mass properties. The center of gravity is farther off the club face and the CG is farther behind the shaft. And because the club is hollow like a fairway wood you get a higher moment of inertia. The higher moment of inertia allows you to try different shaft lengths. If you throw out traditional thinking and say, you know what, why does a three iron have to be 38 inches or 39 inches long? Why cant it be 41 inches long or 40 inches long? The MOI of the hybrid is almost 30% higher than a comparable cavity back iron. That combination gives you more ball speed.
 
Casey / Q:
Take that to the next stepthe Idea integrated sets.
 
Tim / A:
The original Idea was meant for slow swing speeds and for super game improvement playing characteristics. That was the first Idea set launched three and half, four years ago. After that, we launched two additional irons ' the A1 and the A1 Pro and we had great success. When we developed the new A2 and A2 OS we had clear focus and design intent. One of the things we realized is that for various players you cant develop one hybrid that is going to fit the entire market. You need to have various designs. Just like in drivers, fairway woods, irons, wedges and putters. You dont just have one model of each of these and say you can satisfy all the different golfers in the world. Well, its the same with hybrids. You need different kinds of hybrids to satisfy the different needs and playing characteristics of many different golfers.
 
Casey / Q:
This pertains to sole width, shape and weight?
 
Tim / A:
Thats part of it. The A2 and the A2 OS do look different. From a performance stand point, it pertains to club head speed, launch conditions, etc. With the A2, for example, we knew exactly who we were targeting for and the type of speed and the type of launch conditions we were trying to hit. With the A2 OS we had a completely different target audience. Accordingly, we were able to develop precisely for each market. Weve had success with products when we are able to develop precisely focused product for a particular segment of the market. The A2 was designed strategically for game improvement. We knew the game improvement launch conditions, what that type of player looks for, the average club head speeds and what would be the best type of hybrid for that player.
 
Casey / Q:
But at the core of A2 is set integration?
 
Tim / A:
The key was and is to integrate hybrids in to a set of irons. How do you build specs around a set that would restore gapping from the 3-iron to the 9-iron? Idea is all about the integrated set. Its about an eight piece set with proper distance gapping between each club and a set that linearly flows from a hybrid golf club to a cavity back club.
 
Casey / Q:
But, you can do that by buying individual hybrids and replacing the long irons in your bag, right?
 
Tim / A:
Thats what people have been doing, however, that doesnt make it the best thing to do. Idea allows people to take the guess work out at retail. We knew that people were buying individual hybrids and sticking them in their set. Unlike a tour player, howeverif a tour player is working with Max Puglielli, our director of tour operations, hes going to try multiple combinations of hybrids with different shafts to fit a specific distance and meet the players gapping needs that way. So if Tom Watson or Dana Quigley wants a certain shot ' they want a certain height and distance from a hybrid ' Max is charged with figuring out a combination of shaft type, shaft length and loft that will produce the result that they are looking for and make sure it fits seamlessly in to the set of irons. In essence, they are building an integrated set. But, they have the benefit of Max to do that for them. Last time I looked consumer golfers like you and me dont have tour reps working at our side. So what we decided to do is to build a set of golf clubs that would include hybrid technology connecting the hybrids to cavity back irons in a truly integrated set. Thats where we have excelled and perfected ' and as a matter of fact applied for patents on ' a matched integrated set.
 
Casey / Q:
Theres a lot to be said, going from the 5-iron to the 4-hybrid, for example, and not feeling like you are reaching for a foreign golf club.
 
Tim / A:
Thats exactly our belief. I remember when cavity back irons were offered in transition configurations. They still are. The sets have cavity back long irons and mid-irons and muscle back short irons. Youre standing there on a tee and you have a 7-iron in your hand which has a cavity and you have an 8-iron your hand which is solid muscle back. Mentally youre thinking this cavity back should go a lot farther. Its kind of this mental challenge. We wanted to make sure that the product performance would not be an issue. If youre standing there with a 4-hybrid and the next club in the bag is a 5-iron, we wanted to make sure we didnt have a gapping or trajectory issue. That the 4-hybrid went a true twenty yards farther without ballooning, and, if the player chooses to hit the 5-iron, they wont feel like it is a tough club to hit because its an iron and not a hybrid.
 
Casey / Q:
This is the seamless transition you refer to?
 
Tim / A:
Yes it is. We want the technology of the hybrid to work with your irons thereby having a truly integrated set. That was the challenge and I think weve done a very good job of meeting that challenge from a design and engineering standpoint. Clubs have to flow in a set. Its a mental or psychological thing and its also a physical thing. If you look at the A2 set, it is an almost seamless transition from the short irons to the mid-irons through the hybrids. Thats going to build confidence when you go to pick a club out of the bag.
 
Casey / Q:
The hybrid category of golf club has exploded in recent years. Will that trend continue?
 
Tim / A:
The hybrid category of club is fast becoming the dominant club category in golf. It is overtaking cavity back irons and one day will replace cavity back irons. Eventually the majority of an eight piece golf set will be made up of hybrid-like clubs. And once its understood that individual players have unique hybrid needs, gapping and spacing between clubs will work itself out.
 
Casey / Q:
The womens sector of golf is growing. You guys have paid particular attention to that area of your business. Are there design challenges in building quality golf equipment for slower swing speeds?
 
Tim / A:
When you get someone who is swinging at 50 to 55 mph and you give them a traditional set of golf clubs that have half-inch spacing in shaft length, the distance gap between their longest club and their shortest club in the bag might be fifty yards. Have you noticed that for players with slower swing speeds ' lets say women golfers ' how they love their 5-wood or 7-wood or 9-wood? They can hit those clubs. Theyre like the favorite go-to clubs. Yet, you give them a 5-iron or a 4-iron and theyre lost. There arent any clubs they can hit between those irons and their, lets say, 7-wood. Thats where hybrids have improved the distance gapping for slower swing speeds.
 
Casey / Q:
Getting back to the design challenges?
 
Tim / A:
The biggest challenge for slower swing speeds is spin. How do you increase the spin? Its virtually impossible with a traditional set of clubs because the CG is too close to the face. Even if you add off-set ' in fact the more off-set you add the closer the CG is to the face - and you basically just get the ball up in to the air but youre hitting mostly week balloon type shots that fall out of the sky. The ball isnt spinning enough to fly properly. The beauty of a fairway wood or hybrid, especially a hybrid with more sole width, is it moves the center of gravity back off the face and then the wider sole allows you to maybe make the shaft length a little longer because youre trying to increase ball speed and the only way to magically increase ball speed, all things being equalwere assuming the COR and the MOI is at its limitis to affect shaft length. This allows that club head to move a little faster. If you can do that, add a little bit of spin, youre going to get launch angle and youre going to improve the carry distance. So the Idea set configuration is a natural for slower speeds.
 
Casey / Q:
You have two womens setsthe 12-piece set and 7-piece set.
 
Tim / A:
The 12-piece is perfect for the woman who is serious about improving their game. The set has a 460 cc titanium driver and the low profile 3-wood and 5-wood is in stainless steel. Then there are four hybrids which consist of a four and five wood-like hybridso the sole is a little widerand then a six and seven iron-like hybrid. Theres an 8-iron which is hollow so theres actually a transition club between the hybrids and cavity back irons. Then theres a nine, pitch and sand wedge which are cavity back irons. And a beautiful putter, cart bag and head covers all come with the set. The sets come in three colors: blue, pink and platinum.
 
Casey / Q:
Whats the intent behind the 7-piece set?
 
Tim / A:
The 7-piece hits more of the occasional woman golfer. Maybe business and social golf, vacation golf, but, not necessarily someone who is going to go out and win the club championship. Theres a driver, a fairway wood and three hybrids. And there is a dual wedge which has the loft of a weak pitching wedge but with a sole that has the camber to help get the ball out of the sand. And theres a putter and a stand bag. The neat thing about this is its the same type of technology as in the integrated set with the shaft lengths and loft spacing. Theyre getting better gapping because theres an inch and a half between each golf club. Where people seem to miss the mark on their womens clubs is they maintain that half-inch spacing. For womens clubs, or slower speeds, one of the secrets of the Idea set make-up is how the specifications change to accommodate slower swing speeds.
 
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